By Robin D. Laws
Copyright 2012 Robin D. Laws.
All rights reserved.
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Robin D. Laws
Given that Orlando Frank was opening his refrigerator door for the first time since his return from two weeks playing club dates down the eastern seaboard, he expected that maybe there’d be something living there, back in the back, amid the jars of Patak’s curry paste, the Tanqueray, and the jumbo-sized ReaLemon bottle. What he did not think he’d see peering back at him with a single, bloodshot, cyclopean eye was a beige-colored arthropod, as long as his index finger, clinging with four pairs of legs to the side of a milk carton.
“Ack!” said Orlando, and slammed the door shut. He fell backwards onto the tiled floor of his tiny kitchen. Inside the fridge, he could hear flapping and thumping, as if he’d startled the bug-thing, sending it caroming around against the interior walls and condiment bottles. He regathered his bathrobe around his skinny frame, set his mouth into a determined line, and said, “Damn. Tom! It’s gotta be...” He stood, took a breath (he hated freakin’ arthropods) and opened the door. The creature banged furiously against the fridge’s lightbulb. Orlando thrust his hand in and grabbed at it, noticing only partway through his move that the thing was equipped with inch-long chitinous mandibles. It buzzed towards his face on dragonfly wings. He batted it away and down onto his unswept floor. With slippered foot he crushed it, setting his teeth up against each other as he took in its exoskeletal crunch. Queasily he lifted his foot and turned the sole of his slipper upwards for inspection. The creature was now a mushy mix of vivid green paste and crushed shell, the latter midway in thickness between jumbo shrimp and blue crab.